Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO) will award the inaugural Seoul Smart City Prize on Monday, Sept. 25.
Established this year by WeGO and SMG, the prize aims to promote human-centered smart city initiatives.
It recognizes efforts by city governments, corporations, and individuals to solve problems of urban polarization and ensure inclusive smart sustainable development.
There were 240 entries for the prize from 93 cities as well as corporations, institutions, and individuals from all continents. Winners will be announced at Monday’s ceremony at Seoul’s iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
“The Smart City is much more than simply applying technology to city management,” said WeGO Secretary-General Park Jung-sook. “We must make this smart city culture sustainable and inclusive so that no one is left behind. That is what makes this prize so meaningful.”
“Seoul Smart City Prize winners will be able to build on their initiatives by having access to wider cooperation with WeGO and our efforts to facilitate public-private partnerships to foster innovation that improves quality of life and meets the needs of all citizens,” she said.
WeGO is a membership-based international association of 160 local governments, 18 institutions, and 37 corporations from around the world, as of December 2022.
The winners will personally receive their prize from WeGO steering committee members, including Yves Daccord, President of Le Temps; Ajit Manocha, President & CEO of Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI); Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI); and Bruno Lanvin, President of the Smart City Observatory at The International Institute for Management Development business school (IMD).
The first-ever Seoul Smart City Prize is being awarded to 21 winners according to three categories: Tech-InnovaCity, Human-CentriCity, and Leadership. A stringent evaluation process has been conducted in conjunction with Seoul National University’s Center for International Development Evaluation since March. Following three rounds of judging by a panel of smart city experts, 21 winners will be selected from among the 40 finalists ahead of Monday’s ceremony.
WeGO is also partnering with GGGI and IMD to select a city to award a Special Mention for the Seoul Smart City Prize during Monday’s ceremony.
IMD is responsible for the IMD Smart City Index, which balances economic and technological criteria with human dimensions such as quality of life and the environment.
Participants from member cities and organizations will also be attending the triennial WeGO General Assembly in Seoul Tuesday, where they will discuss the key agenda for smart sustainable development and chart the direction of WeGO for the next three years.
The Assembly will additionally choose a new city to serve as the presidency following the current president city, which is Seoul led by Mayor Oh Se-hoon.
Moreover, the host city of the next WeGO General Assembly will be selected along with the announcement of new WeGO regional offices in Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.